Behind our Human companies, we’ve got a Human team—one made up of people with diverse experiences, passions, and expertise. Together, we’re working to turn passions into products, to turn concepts into companies, and to turn innovators into incredible co-founders.
Executive Chairman, Founding Partner
CEO, Founding Partner
Chief Innovation Officer
Maisha C. Leek
Head of Founder & Studio Ops
Head of Marketing & Community
Head of Financial Operations
Head of Communications
Head of Business Design
Head of Product
Head of Design
Head of Special Projects
Executive Assistant to the CEO / Office Manager
Senior Managing Director, Human Enterprise
Senior Managing Director, Attention Vertical
Researcher, Attention Vertical
Strategic Advisor, Diversity & Inclusion
Throughout his career, Rob Code has advised on and directed operations at a number of businesses and startups, including Plated, MM.LaFleur, Ollie, and our very own Token.
Joe Scirocco's career includes stints as CFO and COO for companies like Tommy Hilfiger, Quiksilver, and TOMS. He serves as a strategic adviser and board member for several businesses.
Jeremiah Zinn has served as head of product at numerous companies, from Viacom to Bark & Co. to Freshly. And that vast product management experience now benefits all our Human companies.
Peter Shallard is the Shrink for Entrepreneurs. As a renowned business psychology expert and therapist gone renegade, he works with founders to create growth, impact and sanity… simultaneously.
Our team is small.
Our network is powerful.
As our name suggests, we believe in the power of Human connections. So we rely on an extensive, ever‑growing network of experts and talent to give our founding teams all the support they need.
Our network includes dozens of the nation’s most coveted investors, most brilliant entrepreneurs, and most knowledgeable industry experts. Some have decades of experience, others bring fresh perspectives. Together, they help open doors and tackle tough problems. So no matter what challenges our founding teams face, our network will be there to pitch in.
Want to be part of the Human Network?Get In Touch
Founder & CEO
of Atom Factory
Vice Chair at GE
Co-Founder & CEO
of Life is Good
Mich Mathews Spradlin
Former CMO at Microsoft
Founding Partner of
First Round Capital
Partner at Homebrew
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Joe Marchese is the Executive Chairman and lead investor in Human Ventures. Joe is a multiple time founder, and sometimes media executive, who is currently an entrepreneur-in-residence at Human Ventures where he is building the next generation of media brands and technologies for today’s attention economy.
As the President of Advertising Revenue for Fox Networks Group, Joe oversaw sales, research and advertising innovation for FOX Broadcast, FX, National Geographic and FOX Sports which included tentpole advertising events like the World Series and Super Bowl.
Prior to Fox, Joe served as CEO of true[x], the leader in engagement advertising technologies, which was acquired by Fox in 2015. He has co-founded a number of companies, including Human Ventures, Reserve and true[X].
Joe is a widely recognized leader in the media and technology industries and was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2016. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center for Media and is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Human Ventures, the Tribeca Film Institute, Team Rubicon, and Clear Channel Outdoor.
Heather is the CEO and Founding Partner of Human Ventures, a New York City-based venture capital fund backing, building and scaling industry-changing technology companies through a startup studio model. Hartnett has been recognized for creating one of New York’s premiere startup studios and for the unique approach and fresh perspective she’s bringing to tech by publications such as “The Information,” which has referred to her as the “new breed of VC.” She was recognized as the venture capitalist of the year by the Global Connections for Women Foundation in 2019.
Since launching three years ago under Hartnett’s leadership, Human has invested in and co-built more than 20 companies. Those companies have grown to a combined $150M+ in enterprise value and have gone on to raise $80M+ in additional capital from notable later stage investors. Fast Company calls Human Ventures a “rare breed” that has “attracted a more diverse pool of founders.”
Key investments include Reserve (acquired), Girlboss, Current, Token, Milo and Clark. Human Ventures is backed by a group of industry titans including Beth Comstock (GE), Howard Morgan (First Round Capital), Chris Sacca (Lowercase), and more.
Hartnett has been featured and interviewed in outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Business Insider, Forbes, TechCrunch and more. Marie Claire recognized Hartnett as “The Standout” on its. New Guard list of The 50 Most Influential Women in America.
Michael is responsible for all aspects of finance and operations at Human Ventures. He previously served as CFO at charity: water, where he was hired by the founder to lead a rapid expansion from scrappy NYC startup to world-class global organization operating at scale. During his tenure, funding efforts brought in more than $175M of both working capital and international program support.
Prior to charity: water, Michael led teams at both Thomson Media and Deloitte. He's a CPA, and holds a BS/BA from The Ohio State University. Michael likes to build stuff, and is inspired by creative and entrepreneurial people and ideas.
Tim is the Chief Technical Officer at Human Ventures, spearheading the technical development of Human’s portfolio companies. Having Tim’s expertise readily available helps each new Human company launch at the very top of their game.
Tim comes to Human Ventures from Reserve (a Human-backed company), where he served as founding Chief Architect, responsible for shaping the underlying infrastructure that powers Reserve. Prior to Reserve, Tim served as VP of Product and Technology at Fuse Networks and as Chief Technology Officer at Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
Andrew Hutton is the chief innovation officer of Human Ventures. He leads the company building team and oversees the process of designing, validating, and launching new startups alongside the entrepreneurs who co-found with Human.
Before Human, Andrew was a design strategy consultant at Accenture, where he helped Fortune 500 companies design innovative new products and services, and taught them how to innovate and work differently. He's also co-founded a social agribusiness in Uganda, and serves as an adjunct professor at Parsons in the MS Strategic Design and Management program. He's a graduate of Wheaton College, where he graduated with a BA in economics, and Parsons School of Design, where he earned an MS in Strategic Design & Management.
Jesse is the Managing Partner of Human Ventures, overseeing business development efforts across the company.
Most of Jesse’s focus is spent on the growth of Human Enterprise, co-creating ventures with our network of founders and corporate innovation partners. Jesse also spends time sourcing investment opportunities for Human Venture’s flagship fund.
Jesse believes deeply in a new venture model, where incubation, venture investing, and corporate innovation work together to strengthen returns, de-risked by the incredible founders we find and grow alongside.
Josh is Venture Partner at Human Ventures and CEO of Onward Labs, where he leads the team’s efforts across company building, partnerships, and community. Josh has spent his career at the intersection of public/private partnerships working with former Mayor Cory Booker to reimagine the possibilities for education and economic development alongside the $100 million investment by Mark Zuckerberg.
Josh was appointed as Director of Education in Bridgeport, CT where he eliminated their budget deficit and built the first vehicle to receive private investment. Josh was a Mayoral Candidate for New York City in the most recent election and co-founded Blockchain for Change, one of the first live and working companies built on blockchain in New York City.
Peter wears many hats at Human Ventures.
His Venture Partner role sees him interfacing with various stakeholders across HV’s portfolio and Enterprise business units, unlocking unconventional opportunities for innovation and collaboration. He leads our People Operations team with a particular emphasis on the Founder experience co-building with Human Ventures and Studio Culture.
As our resident founder coach, he works one-on-one with our portfolio founders and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence — drawing on a deep expertise cultivated over 10,000 hours of one-to-one coaching experience with founders of fast-growth, VC backed startups. He is legendary in the entrepreneurial ecosystem as a network node and thought-partner for entrepreneurs in transition or approaching critical strategy decisions. Peter’s external “Shrink for Entrepreneurs” practice also operates from the Human Ventures studio.
Additionally, Peter is the founder of Commit Action — an addition to Human Venture’s investment portfolio. Commit Action helps small business owners become their highest leverage, most effective self possible via software-augmented human accountability, delivered at scale.
Pratap Penumalli is a Partner at Human Ventures leading the company builder. In this role, he helps founders build and grow their companies from design to beta to launch. Pratap brings deep product and technical expertise to Human from his time at Google and startups, along with an extensive technical and venture network from building his own startup studio.
In his free time, Pratap supports several social justice causes from environmental protection to poverty alleviation. If he ever leaves the concrete jungle of New York, he plans to get super into farming so he can make the perfect batch of hot sauce from farm to table.
Chris supports our portfolio companies and the workshop across various operational functions and evaluates new investment opportunities. He began his career at AllianceBernstein, and was the first employee at Netplus Capital, a family office focused on Latin American clients. Most recently, Chris worked at Flat World Partners, an impact investing advisory firm, where he evaluated early stage opportunities and fund investments.
Growing up, Chris's roots led him to spend countless summers in Bolivia and he is fluent in Spanish. He has an MBA from the Wharton School, where he was a David George Jones fellow, a BA from the University of Virginia, and is a CFA charter holder.
Maisha C. Leek
Maisha operates as the official point person charged with increasing efficiency and efficacy between EIRs, founders, founding teams, and Human. Her work is across various strategic initiatives and projects, and resource needs during an entrepreneur's journey in the studio.
Maisha joins Human after spending time consulting with founders to launch and scale their companies. Prior to consulting, she was chief of staff and the investor relations lead at UnitedMasters, an Andreessen Horowitz portfolio company. She came to NYC from DC, where she worked in politics and public policy, overseeing the government’s investments in science and technology via NASA, National Science Foundation, NOAA, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Helen leads marketing initiatives at Human Ventures that foster and grow the Human community. Helen is passionate about collaborating with Humans who are positively impacting the world.
Before joining the Human Ventures team, Helen worked closely with entrepreneurs as the Platform Manager at Compound and in operational roles at SoulCycle and Roomi. Helen began her career as an analyst at J.P. Morgan working with privately held business owners. Helen graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in finance.
As the son of two entrepreneurs, Michael has been inventing products and starting companies since he was in high school. He’s launched everything from a personal finance lending platform, to a crowdfunding aggregator, to DroneObstacles.com. At Human Ventures, Michael helps the other Michael (Letta) with all things finance and operations—and he helps our founders understand the financial and operational aspects of their companies as well.
Before joining the team at Human Ventures, he worked at startups Quirky and WeWork, managing financials during highs, lows, and rapid growth. Michael also holds a BS/BA from The Ohio State University, and he’s a CPA. When he’s not working, he’s traveling.
Callie Schweitzer is the head of communications for both Human Ventures and Attention Capital. She works closely with Heather Hartnett (CEO of Human Ventures) and Joe Marchese (CEO of Attention Capital) on branding, positioning, messaging, and communications for both companies. She also works with Human’s studio and portfolio companies at all stages of their lifecycle to craft their message for investors, consumers, and respective audiences.
She has held executive leadership positions across editorial, audience growth, marketing and revenue at Thrive Global, Time Inc. and TIME, Vox Media and Talking Points Memo. She has been widely recognized for her impact in the media industry being named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, referred to as “the future of media” by Business Insider, called a "media mogul" by PureWow and named one of TIME’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds in the World.
Alice leads the Business Design team at Human Ventures. Alice started her career in global health and social entrepreneurship, followed by a few years at Warby Parker and then a slew of innovation/design and product strategy work both freelance and for two consultancies: Catapult Design and Globant. Alice focused on the early days of new products and services both for start-ups and innovation studios at large corps - largely in fintech, entertainment, and social impact spaces. Alice teaches at Parsons and hosts a creativity-focused event series.
Ryan has been building products for the past 8 years across early stage startups in San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Berlin and NYC. He loves the process of taking and idea and turning it into something that can shift behavior and culture. Prior to Human Ventures, Ryan was leading product development for Jodel, a Berlin based social media company.
Evan Jones is a multidisciplinary designer and creative director. At Human, he leads design across all business verticals spanning interaction, experience, and brand. Combining his obsession for scalable systems and the human side of technology, he concentrates on elegant and functional solutions that ensure founder’s design needs are met, measured, and fine-tuned.
He has previously worked with clients across multiple industries, with experience in product, advertising, technology, and service design. In his spare time, he co-runs a social impact creative studio focused on serving marginalized communities.
Matthew joined Human Ventures' after working in micro lending both internationally and domestically. His experience has spanned from designing and building a self-sustaining micro lending program as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, West Africa, to working in financial strategy and impact evaluation at Grameen America underneath the leadership of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Matthew works with Human Ventures' senior leadership to take early ideas and market insights and turn them into concise, structured proposals for new business opportunities. He graduated from Northeastern University with a BS in Economics and Mathematics and a minor in Architectural History, he is also an alumni of the New York Community Trust Leadership Fellowship at the Baruch College Marxe School of International and Public Affairs.
Peter has two jobs at Human Ventures. As Executive Assistant to the CEO, he keeps our fearless leader organized. And as Office Manager, he keeps everything else organized, too. He joins our team after working at the New York Historical Society, the Intrepid Museum, GAMA hedge fund, Guggenheim Partners, and on the TV show Blue Bloods.
With a passion for using economics for the sake of social good, Peter puts his heart into his work every day—and that means he’s a valuable part of just about every project the Human team undertakes. He holds a BA from the University of Colorado, and a BS and MS from Oregon State University.
Alex Tepper is a Senior Managing Partner and leading the corporate innovation and enterprise partnerships business. Alex's career spans both the entrepreneurial and corporate landscapes, but has always has been in a position focused on growth. He has held senior leadership positions at two major Fortune 50 companies.
At American Express, within the consumer card division, he ran a large marketing division, new product development, and the strategy and innovation group. At GE, Alex was the Global Director of Innovation, and later a Managing Director in GE Ventures on both the venture capital investment committee and new business creation side.
Alex was one of the first employees at two start-ups. Most recently he founded a company that developed AI and robotic solutions for industrial use cases, interpreting sensor and systems data to optimize inspection and maintenance. The company was acquired in December 2018 and is going to be the foundational platform for AI at a major oil and gas services company.
Dr. Ashlyn Gentry is Managing Director of Human Ventures’ Attention vertical. Gentry has been at the forefront of some of the most important corporate strategy and commercial growth decisions over the last decade, and has worked with executives in media and technology to revolutionize these industries.
A renegade academic turned business strategist, Gentry began her career in politics and academia, studying and working on political campaigns while earning her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin. As SVP at Palantir’s commercial headquarters in New York, she led growth strategy teams working with clients representing the top media companies and brands in the world. Previously, Ashlyn served as Vice President in the Chairman’s office at Hill+Knowlton Strategies in Austin, TX.
Gentry serves on the board of The Pitch Academy, a startup coaching service, and mentors rising female stars in New York tech. Her professional mission is to transform how media and tech help us learn about our world, creating conversations that lead to a fuller understanding of ourselves and others.
Rish joined Human Ventures after having spent time working across the financial technology, healthcare consulting, venture capital, and global development fields. As a Business Analyst, Rish works across the entire Human Ventures ecosystem to explore, invest in, and launch early stage companies. Rish utilizes multidisciplinary research methods to take novel ideas and market insights and turn them into structured and actionable business proposals.
Rish grew up on the foothills of Mt. Kenya in a town called Nanyuki before moving to the U.S. (he’ since sadly lost his British accent but kept his love of the outdoors and travel). In his spare time, Rish can be found rock climbing or satisfying his passions as a life-long maker by tinkering with one of the many projects that crowd his desk.
Erik is a software engineer at Human Ventures who works closely with our CTO and portfolio companies. A passionate and driven problem solver, Erik has extensive experience across the full stack, developing robust applications and solutions from ideation to deployment at scale. He is a Manhattan native, holds a BS in Biological Sciences and enjoys fishing and playing pick up soccer in his free time.
Inspired by the startup and tech industry, Jack joined Human Ventures in 2019 as a Software Engineer. He works with the engineering team, building full stack web apps and developing product features for Human studio companies. He is also very passionate about deep learning and neural networks.
Ryan Woodard has a Bachelors Degree from Bard College in Political Economy, with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. He is working towards getting his Senior Thesis published later in the year. Prior to joining Human Ventures, Ryan worked as a writing instructor at Bard Microcollege, and as a fashion director at BK Style Foundation and Street Fashion Week, the latter two positions which he continues to hold.
At Human Ventures, Ryan works as a market research analyst in our Attention vertical, where he hopes to expand his knowledge about all things Startup and VC. Ryan is interested in global politics and has a passion for all things art and design. Ryan truly believes in entrepreneurship's ability to empower individuals and communities, and he is dedicated to making the possibility of entrepreneurship a reality for an increasing number of marginalized peoples.
Chelsea Boyes joined Human Ventures in April of 2019 as one of the Staff Accountants on the Finance team. Her work includes handling the month-end closes, reporting and financial analysis for Human Ventures as well as some of the studio companies. Through her work, she is able to help founders better understand the financial aspects of their business, enabling them to make informed and strategic decisions.
When she’s not working, Chelsea loves hanging with her family, and just being outdoors either skiing in the winter or mountain biking in the summer.
Jolyn Lee is a Staff Accountant here at Human Ventures, where she plays an important role supporting the financial aspect of all our Human companies. Jolyn helps our portfolio companies by triaging tasks, mapping out and discussing financial health, and being the source of answers for any inquiries the companies may have.
In her free time, Jolyn enjoys attending concerts and trying out the various omakase of New York.
Anna Nti-Asare-Tubbs is a writer and PhD student. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with her Masters in Multidisciplinary Gender Studies in 2015, after having graduated from Stanford University with her bachelors in Anthropology in 2014, as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Anna is deeply interested in gender and race issues in the US. She is pursuing her PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge as a Gates scholar.
At Human, Anna brings her intersectional expertise to put best practices in place for increasing diversity while building out early teams.
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